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Adapted rice varieties for Africa Advanced rice varieties for Africa

Arica rice, the high yield, disease and stress tolerant rice

Hybrid ARICA lines are distinguished by their high yield potential, and tolerance/resistance to diseases and pests, such as blast, bacterial leaf blight, rice yellow mottle virus, as well as abiotic stresses like drought, flooding, iron toxicity, cold and salinity. Breeders employ a three-line system to develop ARICA hybrid lines, involving backcrossing which gives new cytoplasmic male sterile germplasm with good agronomic, next to outcrossing characteristics to obtain high seed yield, as well as test-crossing and microsatellite screening for identifying suitable restorer lines. A two-line breeding system for ARICA varieties is in place that relies on environmental genetic male sterility and has shown to achieve similar performance like the three-line system while being more economical. For breeding lines to be nominated as ARICA it must consistently and significantly out-yield the best checks in at least one site over at least three seasons and possess acceptable grain quality. In other words, it must represent significant improvement on the current best variety. Extensive field validation has shown that the productivity of ARICA 1, ARICA 2 and ARICA 3 is respectively 20 - 44%, 50 - 111%, and 2 - 69% greater than for NERICA-L 19 which is in wide use by African farmers.


This technology is TAAT1 validated.


Scaling readiness: idea maturity 7/9; level of use 7/9

Cost: $$$ 0,8 - 1,2 $/Kg of seed

Initial cost of the seed

ROI: $$$ 40 %

Increase in yield (income)

356 USD

Planting, maintenance, harvesting and winnowing

50 - 111 %

Potential yield


Open source / open access


  1. Low Productivity: Many traditional rice varieties in Africa have low yield potential, leading to insufficient production to meet local demand.

  2. Susceptibility to Pests and Diseases: Common rice diseases such as blast, bacterial leaf blight, and rice yellow mottle virus, as well as pests, significantly reduce yields and threaten food security.

  3. Abiotic Stresses: Variability in environmental conditions, including drought, flooding, iron toxicity, cold, and salinity, pose significant challenges to rice cultivation in Sub-Saharan Africa, affecting crop growth and productivity.

  4. Limited Adaptation: Traditional rice varieties often struggle to adapt to diverse agroecosystems across the region, resulting in suboptimal performance and reduced resilience to environmental stressors.


  1. High Yield Potential: ARICA varieties offer higher yield potential compared to traditional varieties, boosting productivity and increasing agricultural profitability.

  2. Disease and Pest Resistance: ARICA lines are bred for tolerance or resistance to common rice diseases and pests, reducing crop losses and ensuring more stable yields.

  3. Abiotic Stress Tolerance: ARICA hybrids are developed to withstand various environmental stresses, such as drought, flooding, and salinity, ensuring more consistent yields even under adverse conditions.

  4. Adaptability: ARICA varieties are designed to thrive in diverse agroecosystems, from lowland to highland areas and dry to wet climates, offering farmers more flexibility and resilience in their cropping systems.

  5. Specialty Traits: Certain ARICA lines possess specialized traits, such as drought resistance, iron toxicity tolerance, and cold tolerance, allowing farmers to address specific challenges in their local and regional contexts.

Key points to design your business plan

For multipliers:

The ARICA varieties present manufacturers with an opportunity to produce and distribute high-performing hybrid rice cultivars tailored for Sub-Saharan African conditions. These varieties boast superior yield potential, resilience to various stresses, and improved grain quality, meeting the local market's demands and boosting farmers' productivity and profitability.

Potential customers for ARICA varieties include seed manufacturers, multipliers, and agricultural input suppliers targeting rice production, catering to both commercial and subsistence growers across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Collaboration with agricultural research institutions, national agencies, and seed certification bodies is essential to enhance the development, certification, and distribution of ARICA varieties. Partnerships with farmer cooperatives, extension services, and development projects aid in promoting adoption.

Manufacturers require access to advanced engineering expertise, durable materials, efficient production facilities, and continuous innovation capabilities, along with reliable distribution networks and after-sales support systems to ensure market competitiveness and customer satisfaction.

Key resources include advanced breeding techniques, research partnerships for germplasm and expertise, and investments in breeding programs, field trials, and seed multiplication. Seed production costs range from USD 0.8 to USD 1.2 per kilogram, similar to conventional improved rice varieties.

Adherence to licensing requirements for production and distribution of certified ARICA seeds in Sub-Saharan Africa is necessary for manufacturers.


For Users:

Farmers using ARICA’s advanced varieties are increasing productivity and profitability. These advanced varieties offer higher yield potential, resilience to environmental stresses, and improved grain quality, contributing to improved food security and income generation. 

Key partners for end users include agricultural extension services, seed suppliers, and farmer cooperatives that facilitate access to certified ARICA seeds, technical knowledge, and support for rice production.

Economic analyses indicate that switching to ARICA varieties can lead to yield gains of up to 40%, translating into increased income for rice farmers. The adoption of ARICA varieties contributes to improved domestic rice production, economic growth, and rural development in sub-Saharan Africa.


Positive or neutral impact

Adults 18 and over
Positive high
The poor
Positive medium
Under 18
Positive high
Positive high

Positive or neutral impact

Climate adaptability
It adapts really well
Adaptability for farmers
It helps a lot
It doesn't hurt them
Carbon footprint
It reduces emissions a little
It doesn't make a difference
Soil quality
It doesn't harm the soil's health and fertility
Water usage
It uses the same amount of water

Countries with a green colour
Tested & adopted
Countries with a bright green colour
Countries with a yellow colour
Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia Algeria Angola Benin Botswana Burundi Burkina Faso Democratic Republic of the Congo Djibouti Côte d’Ivoire Eritrea Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Cameroon Kenya Libya Liberia Madagascar Mali Malawi Morocco Mauritania Mozambique Namibia Niger Nigeria Republic of the Congo Rwanda Zambia Senegal Sierra Leone Zimbabwe Somalia South Sudan Sudan South Africa Eswatini Tanzania Togo Tunisia Chad Uganda Western Sahara Central African Republic Lesotho
Countries where the technology has been tested and adopted
Country Tested Adopted
Benin Tested Adopted
Burkina Faso Tested Adopted
Côte d’Ivoire Tested Adopted
Equatorial Guinea Not tested Adopted
Ethiopia Tested Adopted
Gambia Tested Adopted
Ghana Tested Adopted
Guinea-Bissau Tested Not adopted
Kenya Tested Adopted
Mali Tested Adopted
Mauritania Tested Adopted
Nigeria Tested Adopted
Senegal Tested Adopted
Uganda Tested Adopted

This technology can be used in the colored agro-ecological zones. Any zones shown in white are not suitable for this technology.

Agro-ecological zones where this technology can be used
AEZ Subtropic - warm Subtropic - cool Tropic - warm Tropic - cool

Source: HarvestChoice/IFPRI 2009

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that are applicable to this technology.

Sustainable Development Goal 1: no poverty
Goal 1: no poverty
Sustainable Development Goal 2: zero hunger
Goal 2: zero hunger
Sustainable Development Goal 8: decent work and economic growth
Goal 8: decent work and economic growth
Sustainable Development Goal 12: responsible production and consumption
Goal 12: responsible production and consumption
Sustainable Development Goal 13: climate action
Goal 13: climate action
Sustainable Development Goal 15: life on land
Goal 15: life on land

  1. ARICA varieties are cultivated exactly like common rice varieties. For optimal results, follow best soil and fertilizer management prescribed for particular growing areas: 

  2. These varieties can be planted manually or mechanically or through transplanting of seedlings from seedbeds into fields. 

  3. Fields are usually divided into lines or rectangles by constructing bunds which increases rain water accumulation and improves drainage.


Last updated on 22 May 2024